Still feeling it in your low back?
Try this out.
A quick movement sequence to mobilize your upper back
in order to help ease lower back discomfort.
If your lower back is giving you trouble, it may seem counter-intuitive to focus on your upper body. But there’s a simple(ish) explanation for why it may be just the fix you need.
From your hips to your neck, your spine is made up of two parts: the lumbar (lower) and thoracic (upper) spine. For simplicity, we’ll refer to them as your lower and upper back.
Your lower back is made to move in a very limited capacity, functioning as a stable source of support for your upper body.
Your upper back, on the other hand, is made to be mobile, enabling an active range of motion so your upper body can move freely.
Sometimes, lifestyle factors can throw your back out of whack and confuse how the two parts of your spine relate to one another. This can lead to movement dysfunction and in some cases, pain.
For example, ever spent the day hunched over a keyboard, only to stand up and feel an achy low back? Maybe you tried stretching your lower back – that’s where it aches, after all – but the discomfort remained.
In some cases, mobilizing your upper back can be the key to helping ease discomfort in your lower back.
Remember, your upper back wants to be mobile. After a long day at the desk, though, there are plenty of factors that can make it feel locked up tight.
When you loosen up your upper back, you may feel immediate relief in your lower back, as your spine begins to function the way it’s meant to – balance restored!
So let’s give it a shot. Ready?
Step 1: Assess your back’s flexibility
Today’s assessment measures back flexibility in flexion and rotation (think front to back and side to side, respectively).
Remember, there’s no “winning” an assessment – it’s all about feeling your way through and being honest about what comes up! So keep an open mind, and don’t force it.
To get started, open up the movr app and navigate to Your Assessment. When you’re ready, try the Toe Touch and T-spine Reach tests. As always, take note of how each test feels in addition to your level of function.
Step 2: Do a 5-minute Mini.
Job done! Now that you’ve assessed your toe touch and t-spine reach, you’re ready to get that back feeling loosey goosey. Our 5-minute Minis are specifically designed to improve how you move and feel, fast.
When you’re ready, dive back into the movr app for a feel-good 5-minute session. Start by navigating to Everyday Minis, and clicking into the Open Your Chest and Shoulders Mini under Target Your Tension.
Step 3: Re-assess your back flexibility.
Now that you’ve finished a focused period of movement, we always recommend checking back in.
Take a minute or two to re-assess the two tests you started with. You may notice:
- Things feel better (more relaxed, less tight)
- Things function better (your range of motion is improved)
- Both, or neither!
So how’d it go?
If you noticed some improvement – great! Reducing tension can be that easy. It’s all about understanding the actual root cause of your discomfort, so you can make the right moves to address it.
If you didn’t feel much change or are still feeling stuck, that’s okay too. These things can take a little time and may require a few different approaches to find the right fit.
Stick with us as we explore more simple movement sequences that can make a big impact on how your body moves and feels. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you!
If you’ve got any questions or want to let us know how you experienced the sequence above, send us a note anytime.
movr is a health technology company focused on measurably improving movement health. We do so through our end consumer app and by integrating our assessment and recommendations logic with fitness and health technology companies who are innovating the future of movement health.
Interested in learning more? Reach out here.